As per a report published in Hindustan Times, Shashi Tharoor had hosted a dinner for Congress Leaders five months ago that allegedly had triggered the controversial letter asking for an overhaul in the party. As per the report, it started as an informal deliberation to bring change in the Congress party leadership.
The HT report says that many prominent leaders including P Chidambaram, Karti Chidambaram, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Mani Shankar Iyer and Sachin Pilot attended the party. However, their signatures did not appear on the said 7th August letter addressed to Gandhi. In the letter, the signatories have asked the party high command for a ‘visible’ and ‘active’ leader.
Tharoor, Pilot and Chidambaram refused to comment
Singhvi, in a statement to HT, said that he was invited to the dinner by Tharoor. He added, “There was an informal discussion on the constructive issue of reforms within the party. Subsequently, I was not informed about the formulation of the letter, at any stage.” On the other hand, Chidambaram refused to make any comment as it was their internal party affair. Pilot and Tharoor also did not issue any comment or statement over the said dinner party.
Mani Shankar Iyer, who is famous for his pro-Pakistani stand, said that he was not approached by anyone to sign the letter that is why his signatures are missing from it. While talking about the dinner, he said that there were discussions about reviving the party and going back to the secular credentials. He added, “There was a suggestion, which nobody opposed, of the need to send a letter. Nobody, however, approached me after that dinner.”
Sonia Gandhi will keep serving as Party President
In the Congress Working Committee meeting on Monday, the controversial letter was discussed. However, the letter did not find any mention in the resolution of the committee’s meeting. Last time Congress party has faced revolt inside the party was in 1999 when Sharad Pawar challenged the authority of Sonia Gandhi.
The party has decided that Sonia Gandhi will continue to serve as the Party President for one more year.
The letter, however, has created a lot of controversies. Many other Congress leaders, including Ahmed Patel, had criticised the signatories of the letter. Kapil Sibal and Ghulam Nabi Azad also faced a lot of open criticism from fellow party leaders over the letter. Sonia, in her concluding remarks, reportedly said that she is hurt (over the letter) but the party but she bears no ill will against the party leaders.